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A synth pop artist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, André Obin debuted in 2008 with a pair of digital download releases — the buzzing, predominantly instrumental "Colorwheel" single and five-track Premonition EP — for the Moodgadget label. Touring, along with additional short-form digital releases for Moodgadget, Trouw, Klopfgeist, and Mina, followed. At the 2012 Boston Music Awards, he was named Performer of the Year. The next year, he released his first proper album, The Arsonist, on Sky Council. By the time the same label issued Ways of Escape in 2014, Obin's sound had undergone a significant refinement with a gradual shift into a moody, tautly crafted, and modern form of synth pop.